Hong Kong is renowned for its boat trips and rightly so. A day on the water is a unique oppor tunity to kickback and take it easy in the company of family and friends. You can work on your tan, get your water-spor ts adrenalin fix, play beer pong, swim out to a remote island and/ or stop off at a favourite beachside restaurant for lunch. Peak season is June to November but thanks to the climate, you can charter a yacht or hire a junk year-round.
There are countless providers across Hong Kong, all offering a variety of packages for both day and night trips. The best are all about flexibility when it comes to event planning. Some occasions call for a comprehensive package where everything is taken care of – food, drink, wakeboarding… you name it. Other times, boat-only charters are the way to go – the crew leaves you to it and you are free to really unwind… and commandeer the kitchen to prepare your own meals.
So, all you really need to decide is where you want to go and how you want to get there.
Yacht charter has a certain cachet about it – frankly, it’s glamorous. Here’s what I dream of: a group of friends and I hire a large, white one (don’t ask me to get technical) and sail down the Amalfi Coast in style. We’d have a chef and a DJ on board, we’d laze in the over-sized swimming pool and dive-off occasionally into the clear blue Tyrrhenian Sea. At twilight, we’d jump in our motorboat and have supper at whichever port we found ourselves at – Positano, Sorrento, Ravello. Before long, we’d motor boat it back to our floating palace and fall asleep, gently rocked by the waves. This trip would last at least a fortnight – two weeks of divine decadence, fortified by strong sea air and lashings of sunlight.
In actuality, of course, you don’t have to leave Hong Kong waters to enjoy prestige time on a yacht and, unless you’re talking megayacht, you don’t have to be crazy rich to get in on the action. You can hire a yacht for a small par ty or a big corporate bash (they come in all sizes) for an evening, a day, a weekend or a long, leisurely cruise.
What you get by chartering a yacht is the promise of excellence… impeccable service, first-rate food, top-notch water toys and, when it comes to addons, you’re spoilt for choice. There’s nothing like an on-board massage and a mani-pedi to set you up for a high-glamour cruise of Victoria Harbour.
There’s something quintessentially Hong Kong about a junk trip. Researching the topic takes me back to the summers when my friends and I would jump a big, old wooden junk seemingly every weekend. Picked up at the pier in Central, we’d be laden down with crates of beer, a bottle of wine or two and “snacks”. We’d have arranged for the crew to cook up chicken curry and Singapore fried noodles, or we’d have scheduled a stop at Peng Chau or Stanley for seafood. In the afternoon, we’d laze in the sun, dive off the top deck for a swim, listen to music (if someone had remembered to bring their decks) and maybe get the chance to water ski. Back then, the best junks also came with a Banana boat. Simple pleasures.
Nostalgia aside, the Hong Kong junk experience is now leagues better. Whether you’re looking for an all-inclusive experience staffed by a qualified and friendly crew, or a boat-only charter, you’re covered. Sure, you can opt to bring your own food but you can also go fully catered, choosing from a tempting range of food and drink. These days you can also expect a full menu of add-ons, from jet skis to SUPs, and most junks (they come in white as well as traditional teakwood) are fitted with a high-quality sound system, so you can party the day or night away.
Whether you plump for time on a yacht or junk, there are any number of packages and tours on offer, allowing you to take full advantage of Hong Kong’s fantastic waters and coastline. Top destinations include Clearwater Bay, Deepwater Bay, Joss House Bay, Shek O, Stanley, Tur tle Cove Beach, Tai Tam Bay, Cheung Chau and Lamma. Be sure to opt for collection and drop-off in DB!